News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Articles from the March 31, 2020 edition


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  • Locals rally to support med personnel

    Jodi Schneider, Correspondent|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    A crusade of noble intentions has been underway in Sisters Country. Homebound residents are crafting hundreds of facemasks to help shield healthcare workers and others from the coronavirus. Last week, Sisters resident Pete Shepherd launched a campaign: 5 day/500 Mask Challenge. “The virus is pitching one fastball after another, high and tight to the chin. We come to the plate individually, and yet each of us can help all of us by watching for a pitch that we can hit,” Shepherd... Full story

  • SPRD forced to lay off most staff

    Cody Rheault|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Sisters Park & Recreation District will lay off 18 of its 21 employees including six full-time staff, two part-time staff and 10 temporary seasonal staff. Executive Director Jennifer Holland said the layoff will be effective starting April 6. “Like many businesses, the district has been hit hard by COVID-19,” Holland said. “We have had to cancel all programs and events as of March 16 in compliance with guidance issued by the State of Oregon and the federal Centers for Disea... Full story

  • High schoolers face disrupted end of year

    Chloe Gold|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Governor Kate Brown has ordered that schools remain closed until April 28 at the earliest, requesting that schools transfer their classes online. For the students of Sisters High School, where there are so many hands-on classes, many fear they will miss out on what they had started early in the school year. Allison Mansfield, a senior in Tony Cosby’s woodworking classes says the shutdown “has affected my guitar-building class. I probably will not be able to finish.” Senior Sierra Henneous, a student in Rick Johnson’s American... Full story

  • Food pantry gets hand from law enforcement

    Cody Rheault|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    The clamor of brown paper bags being filled with edible goods echos throughout the Bread of Life food pantry at the New Hope Christian Center in Sisters. A team of volunteers fills 200 bags full of dried goods, fresh produce, and essentials to be handed out to local families during the weekly food drive. Every Thursday, the Bread of Life ministry serves members of the community its most basic of needs, food — now a vital short-coming since the recent spread of the... Full story

  • City working with citizens on utility bills

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Recognizing that Sisters residents and business owners may be under severe financial stress due to the COVID-19-related shutdown, the City of Sisters has announced that it will not shut off utility services or charge late fees over payment of bills in April. “We’re not doing shutoffs and we’re not going to charge late fees,” City Manager Cory Misley told The Nugget on Monday, March 30. Those who need assistance with their water bill should contact Kim Keeton at City Hall, 541-323-5209, to inquire about programs. Two program... Full story

  • Campgrounds, preserves closed

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    To support state and local measures directing people to stay home to save lives, all Deschutes National Forest campgrounds are now closed through May 8, or until such measures are lifted. The campground closures are necessary to address the social distancing guidelines provided by the Centers for Disease Control and to align with Governor Brown’s “Stay at Home” executive order, the Forest Service states. Day use areas, including trailheads, will remain accessible, however restroom facilities will not be serviced. The Fores... Full story

  • Journey through Thyme: Cooking keeps us busy in stressful times

    Jodi Schneider, Correspondent|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    With health and government officials urging people to stay home in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, many people are looking for productive and comforting ways to pass the time indoors — prompting the reawakening of cooking and baking. With more people working from home, nutritionists say now is the time to start cooking and brushing up on your culinary know-how. Cooking can be a comfort and one way to reduce anxiety during trying times. If you’re at home, cooking i... Full story

  • Letters to the Editor 4/1/2020

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    To the Editor: A message to the citizens of Sisters — STAY HOME! Yesterday (Saturday, March 28) I was appalled to see literally 75 to 100 people walking around the downtown core visiting restaurants and shops! Just because it seems that the virus has NOT reached our small community yet does not mean that it can’t or won’t. Because if it does it will rip through our tiny and much-loved hamlet leaving a wake of dead elderly and very sick adults. The anger I felt driving through town on my way to pick up some essentials fr... Full story

  • Time to get into other people’s business

    Kema Clark|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Who knew we would get to the point that it’s a good thing to be the irritating person who gets in other people’s business? Well, we’re there. Even though you may have been a private, mind-your-own-business kind of person for your entire life, it’s time to change. Let’s start with sons and daughters getting in their parents’ business. You probably hated when your parents stuck their noses in your life and business when you knew you were grown and had a brain. You wanted them to stay out of things that you felt didn’t conc... Full story

  • Can we hike during COVID-19 shutdown?

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Getting outdoors in the fresh air during the COVID-19 shutdown promises benefits to both physical and mental health. Yet campgrounds, sno-parks, and trailheads are shut down. That has raised questions about whether hiking is allowed during the current shutdown. Recreational activities such as walking and hiking are specifically allowed under Governor Kate Brown’s “Stay Home, Save Lives” executive order of March 23. However, those doing so must be able to maintain six feet of separation from others, and any grouping of people... Full story

  • Favorite books for troubled times

    Kema Clark|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    I like two kinds of books or movies: either the bad guy dies at the end or the couple live happily ever after. All my favorite books and movies are series. By the time I’ve read or watched a couple of them, I feel like the characters are either my best friends or I want to shoot them. Either way, they’re real people. Louis L’Amour’s Sackett series is awesome. Tell Sackett is one of the greatest characters ever in a Western — and it has nothing to do with the fact that Sam Elliott plays Tell Sackett in the TV movies.... Full story

  • Search and Rescue: Curtail risky activities

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Search and Rescue (SAR) is asking Central Oregonians to curtail outdoor activities that put them at risk of needing rescue. The agency is concerned about the potential impact on search and rescue volunteers and on medical services as the region deals with the COVID-19 pandemic. “We are currently seeing many people turn to the outdoors for recreation and exercise right now, which is allowed by Governor Brown’s executive order 20-12,” said DCSO Public Information Officer Sgt. William Bailey.... Full story

  • Emotional survival tools for a pandemic

    Mitchell L. Luftig, Ph.D.|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    According to Dr. Rick Hanson, our minds are like velcro for negative experiences and teflon for positive experiences. This started with our ancestors’ whose survival depended upon paying close attention to the bad things going on around them (was that the snarl of a saber tooth tiger?), which created a “negativity bias” in the information their brains prioritized. As we hunker down in the face of the current pandemic our bias for negative information may cause us to be consumed with fears about the future: Will my famil... Full story

  • Task force warns against dropping guard

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    A state task force warned against easing restrictions in the effort to stem the spread of the COVID-19 virus in Oregon. The warning came as part of a Health Care System Action Plan developed by the “Governor’s Joint Task Force for Health Care Systems Response to COVID-19.” “The fight against the coronavirus depends on Oregon hospitals having enough beds to treat the coming surge in patients who will become seriously ill with the virus,” the task force stated in a news release. “Today, Oregon health officials and hospitals a... Full story

  • Foundation seeks permit for arts on ranch

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    The Roundhouse Foundation merges ranching and the arts at Pine Meadow Ranch at the southwest end of Sisters. The Foundation is now seeking to expand facilities on the ranch. Deschutes County provided notice that the foundation is seeking a conditional use permit and site plan review to establish a “community center” on the ranch and to add a 2,499-square-foot expansion to the ranch shop. The community center will, according to the application, “continue and expand agricultural operations on the subject property, such as re... Full story

  • Legislature to consider relief for arts

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Arts organizations across the state — including those in Sisters — have been heavily impacted by the shutdown in place to slow the spread of COVID-19. Nonprofit cultural organizations in Sisters across the state have canceled performances, events and activities — including key fundraising events — and most have closed their doors to the public. In response to communication from the Oregon Cultural Trust, its Statewide Partners and arts and cultural organizations across the state, Governor Kate Brown... Full story

  • Your Story Matters: Holding on to empathy in a time of self-preservation

    Audry Van Houweling, PMHNP|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    As I write this I am sitting in a cabin alongside the Metolius River in Camp Sherman. The only sound is the trickling of water just beyond the back porch. I am writing on a note pad because there is no phone or internet and my laptop is dead. There is a fire, food in the antiquated fridge, and a claw-foot tub where I plan on spending a good portion of my evening reading a book about survival in Alaska. I am theoretically supposed to depart tomorrow, but my introvert self is pondering how I might negotiate a longer stay. Part... Full story

  • Sisters salutes...

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    •?Tennise Thornton wrote: “Thank you to Bi-Mart pharmacy staff for filling a record number of prescriptions over the last month! Most employees are working overtime each week to fill the demand. Thank you also to the pharmacy manager’s wife for making personal face masks for everyone.” •?Kris Calvin wrote: “Thank you to Hayden Homes’ excavation contractor Rickabaugh Construction, who recently used their heavy duty compaction roller to help maintain the Tollgate... Full story

  • Forest Service halts prescribed burning

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    The Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and Crooked River National Grassland have announced that all prescribed fire ignitions have been postponed until further notice. “In consideration of the seriousness of the COVID-19 pandemic locally and in our region, all burning will be suspended at this time,” said Kassidy Kern, USFS Public Affairs Specialist. “The safety and health of our communities are our highest priority. Potential smoke impacts to the public are considered in all prescribed fire and wildfire management. “This... Full story

  • Dear Property Guy: Renting and owning in the time of coronavirus

    Mike Zoormajian|Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Dear Central Oregon: I’d like to interrupt our normal format to provide some information and thoughts during the coronavirus shutdown. Let me start by saying that everything, and I do mean everything, is very fluid right now. And anybody who says they know what is happening (including me) is wrong. I also want to recognize the very human and very real suffering that is occurring right now in our community. Not just the people who are sick. But the people who are scared, people who are unemployed, families who are worried a... Full story

  • Officers investigate dog bite on trail

    Updated Mar 31, 2020

    Sheriff’s deputies are investigating an incident in which a man was bitten by a loose dog on the Peterson Ridge Trail at the south end of Sisters on Wednesday, March 25. A man was reportedly running on the trail when a medium-sized black dog ran past him and bit him on the calf. According to an account provided by a friend of the runner, the man fell to the ground and threw rocks at the dog to scare it off. Two women described as being in their 50s to 60s approached and according to Deschutes County Sheriff’s Office Pub... Full story

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